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I know it's premature, but it seems that checking in at 11am for a cruise is not going to happen for quite a good while to come. I am looking at a cruise out of New Orleans and I will be flying from Austin, TX. Given that it is much likely that we will be checking in mid afternoon, do you feel that it is still important to fly in a day early?

I welcome your opinions.

Steven

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My thought is yes.  I routinely fly a lot on business and know only too well how often flights are cancelled, delayed or diverted. Personally if I were flying for a cruise with a departure deadline, I would rather hibernate in a hotel overnight than risk not making it onboard

 

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Whether you're boarding at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., a relaxed morning in the departure city is ALWAYS better than rushing around an airport or three. Airline delays happen all the time for many reasons - I once had a flight from Memphis to Cincinnati delayed by three hours because the first flight of the day on that plane was impacted by fog in Portland, Maine and each subsequent flight was pushed a little bit later because of gate availability, etc.

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I have done it both on arrival and departure..but hate it and stressed out and wont ever do it again. I would always err on the side of caution. Much more relaxing and fun that way too....I always can find something to do the night before in a different city before the cruise.

 

And with less flights and options in alot of cases, I could see the potential for further issues if something goes wrong with a flight or a delay could turn into a longer delay now.

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I really couldn't imagine not arriving the day before if you're flying (or even driving). I understand each person's circumstance is different, but for us, if we can't afford both the money and time to arrive a day early, we can't afford that vacation. Getting there comfortably, getting settled him, having some fun + a nice meal + drinks, a good nights sleep, and a leisurely morning is the only way to role. 

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16 hours ago, stevendom57 said:

I know it's premature, but it seems that checking in at 11am for a cruise is not going to happen for quite a good while to come. I am looking at a cruise out of New Orleans and I will be flying from Austin, TX. Given that it is much likely that we will be checking in mid afternoon, do you feel that it is still important to fly in a day early?

I welcome your opinions.

Steven

Another option that doesn't rely on any airlines - drive it. Austin to New Orleans is only about 8 driving hours each way. By the time you drive to the airport, go through security, wait for your flight, sit in those tiny seats for a while, wait at baggage claim, and travel to your hotel the time saving is probably only an hour or two.

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1 hour ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Another option that doesn't rely on any airlines - drive it. Austin to New Orleans is only about 8 driving hours each way. By the time you drive to the airport, go through security, wait for your flight, sit in those tiny seats for a while, wait at baggage claim, and travel to your hotel the time saving is probably only an hour or two.

Also driving will help with being exposed to extra germs at the airport, plane, and transportation to hotel.

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1 hour ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Another option that doesn't rely on any airlines - drive it. Austin to New Orleans is only about 8 driving hours each way. By the time you drive to the airport, go through security, wait for your flight, sit in those tiny seats for a while, wait at baggage claim, and travel to your hotel the time saving is probably only an hour or two.

Hopefully you wouldn't be driving during bug season. I-10 can be brutal during that time. 

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I think flying is even more risky now, at least as it relates to making a ship on the day of departure.

Airlines are making a lot of schedule changes to optimize loads.  You could have a flight that lands at 11am booked for months but a week before the cruise they inform you the flight will now land at 2pm.  To them that's virtually the same time but for you it means all safety margins are lost and nothing can go wrong or you'll miss the cruise.  

If driving is a solid plan B at least you've got that to fall back on but for me there is too much new risk to even think about flying the day of the cruise.  

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Most definitely fly in a day early, especially if flying from the north in the winter, who knows it may snow a foot or so the day of and will be major delays, also if your flying a non major airline, they seem to have more canceled flights than say delta, I work at Cincinnati airport and have saw this happen in the winter, we always go a day early, will continue to.

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6 hours ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Another option that doesn't rely on any airlines - drive it. Austin to New Orleans is only about 8 driving hours each way. By the time you drive to the airport, go through security, wait for your flight, sit in those tiny seats for a while, wait at baggage claim, and travel to your hotel the time saving is probably only an hour or two.

exactly what i was thinking as I read through this post.

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Sounds like driving could be a real possibility for you...and I think a very wise choice.  One little weather delay or mechanical problem with your plane could ruin your arrival to the port on time.  I would never rely on flying same day no matter what time my boarding time is!!!

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We currently have a March 2021 Grandeur out of Baltimore, which is about a 3- 3.5 hr drive from Central NJ. Original plan -- pack the car early the day before the cruise, DH goes to his afternoon teaching job outside Princeton (about 40 minutes south of us) via Uber or DD, then late aftenoon,  DD's & I get in our car, swing by & pick him up, eat our dinner sandwiches in the car, check in by 8pm, get a good night's sleep, then head to port for 10 am.  

Now -- DH is teaching from home, & will be in the spring, so that means a later start if we drive down (as we wouldn't leave home til @ least 530 as opposed to 415 to pick him up by 515), therefore a later arrival time in Baltimore.  Breakfast is usually problematic, as one DD is gluten free, but we can pack food for her.  We'd have to kill time & probably buy lunch (or pack extra) & find someplace to hang out prior to a later embarkation time.  

We're giving some thought to driving down that morning, but the NJ Turnpike can be a bear -- one accident on the lower stretch, with fewer lanes, can really make the drive longer.  Plus -- earlier rising time makes me cranky (😆), so still more likely to drive down the night before. 

We don't have to decide til a couple of days before, assuming we even get to go....and if we have to get tested before, that just adds a layer of difficulty

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